Dec

5

 Amazon just came out with a new wireless e-book device, and I'm going out on a limb to call it a winner. Yes, other e-books have come and gone without a splash. But this is different. The others usually involved sitting in front of a PC, or carrying a clunky apparatus. Personally, I found them to be a pain in the neck to use. Amazon's Kindle is designed for mobility — light enough to slip into a pocketbook, briefcase or backpack. A new technology allows for very clear text. Best of all, you can adjust the text size — a huge advantage for people like me whose eyesight ain't what it used to be after decades of working in front of monitors. Ten years ago, I used to dream about a device like this, and now it's here.

Vic believes that the Kindle is a terrible development, as he loves books — the look of them, the feel of them, the ability to pile them up and read 10 of them at the same time and to make notes on them. I'm a major lover of books as well — I have more books than profits at the moment, and I have a dozen ceiling-high bookcases, all completely full — but the charm of wireless reading is irresistible. Over the last couple of years, I have spent hours squinting at Bloomberg News on my Motorola Q while I'm out and about. As for other news sources, the print is too small. While I love my Sony VAIO, I don't like lugging it around. Now, for less than $100 a month, I have my choice of the WSJ, NYT, Washington Post, Reuters Business and Slate.com, on a device I can carry easily in my purse.

Amazon lets you buy books and subscribe to newspapers or magazines either from your amazon.com account on your PC or by using the device itself.

I must confess that the Kindle library, while already encompassing thousands of books, is disappointing. My first choices for science books — Ridley, Steve Jones — aren't available, while the type of thing that populates the self-help aisles at B&N is about as plentiful as you'd expect. But you can download Shakespeare's tragedies for $7.49. Huckleberry Finn goes for a quarter. I bought Ayn Rand's Anthem and the Daring Book for Girls.

No, you can't buy EdSpec or PracSpec on Kindle, yet, but I'm pitching Daily Speculations for their blog offerings, for all you early adopters out there. I don't claim to be an E.A. myself, but sheer frustration with small print has driven me to it. So far, I love Kindle.


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